Grand Universe Lucca joins Autograph Collection after revamp
Fresh from a multimillion-pound renovation led by Archea Associati, a boutique property in Tuscany has joined Marriott International’s prestigious Autograph Collection Hotels brand.
Grand Universe Lucca is embarking upon the next stage of its extraordinary history. We take a closer look at what’s changing for this storied property.
A historic renovation
Now part of Autograph Collection Hotels, Grand Universe Lucca is reaping the rewards of a complete renovation to ensure the former 16th-century palazzo, which was turned into a hotel in 1857, is fit for a new generation of travellers.
“We are delighted to expand our offering of one-of-a-kind hotels in Italy and our debut in the charming city of Lucca,” said Jenni Benzaquen, vice president, brand, EMEA, Marriott International. “Grand Universe Lucca is a unique jewel in the stunning city and Autograph Collection Hotels’ independent spirit is the perfect fit for the hotel’s next chapter.”
“Grand Universe Lucca will be a historical beacon blending different eras of history,” said Georges Midleje, regional managing director for Shaner Properties in Italy. “Our unique location in the magical city of Lucca offers a unique perspective on Tuscany’s rich historic and culinary cultures.”
Paying homage to the site’s past
Set at the foot of the Apuan Alps, a short drive from the Versilia coast, the so-called city of a hundred and one churches is home to a wealth of Medieval and Renaissance monuments, from the historic Teatro del Giglio to the landmark Piazza Napoleone.
The wide-ranging renovations to the hotel were led by Archea Associati, which focused on returning the property to its earlier splendour. Interestingly, the scheme’s wall foundations date back to Roman times, and remnants of the ancient glassblower’s fountain can still be found in the cellar.
A new era beckons
The newly reimagined hotel’s 55 rooms and suites blend contemporary sophistication with timeless style. Expect to see textiles reflecting the city’s silk heritage in shades of grape red, pine green and Tuscan sun yellow, alongside modern wooden surfaces and gold detailing. Meanwhile, there are also tapestries referencing the region’s vineyards and glass pendant lights paying tribute to the site’s glassblowing past.
Furthermore, music is a central pillar of the hotel concept, and this is reflected in the name of each room category. The Puccini Suite, for example, pays homage to opera composer Giacomo Puccini who was born in Lucca and was known to frequent the property.
The culinary offering here includes Italian restaurant Legacy, which serves local cuisine and fine wine, while rooftop bar Sommita offers digestivos named after the city’s great personalities amid panoramic views of the cathedral and beyond.
On joining the Autograph Collection Hotels portfolio, Grand Universe Lucca has introduced a series of signature experiences. Guests can try private cocktail classes and wine tasting or visit the Symphony Lounge, where a classical composer will create a personalised prelude to reflect their character.